Click here to listen to the podcast.
During these economic times, many businesses are cutting back or eliminating advertising, but that’s a big mistake – advertising is the most beneficial and cost-effective means for keeping a company front-and-center in the marketplace. Stitches and Wearables staff writer Matthew George talks with Julia Hutton, founder of Orca Communications, to hear why companies should be investing in marketing during these tough times. Click here to listen to the podcast.
After a recent interview with Counselor magazine, we got the latest runway predictions for the upcoming New Year from Suede, a designer featured on Season 5 of Bravo’s hit show Project Runway. Check out the products we’ve chosen that fit the trends for 2009, as well as the full interview with Suede, below.
Color is expected to play a big role, especially “whimsical color combinations,” according to Suede. The new Myla Vintage Scoop neck tee from Bella (asi/39590) comes in the perfect shade of soft pink. “The Myla Vintage Scoop was designed with classic feminine styling in mind,” says Crystal Raymond, marketing coordinator at Bella. “The feminine silhouette is perfect for day or night. This tee is part of Bella’s fashion-forward luxe collection that was created to exude elegant sophistication through feminine fits, classic details, luxurious fabrics and unique colors.” Try wearing it with a classic neutral-colored pant.
Suede is a style maven and fashion designer recently featured on Season 5 of Bravo’s hit show Project Runway.
From Bella (asi/39590), this fitted, soft pink Myla Vintage Scoop T-shirt (8406) with capped shirred puff sleeves is ready to hit the shelves in 2009.
Sanmar’s (asi/84863) Port Authority Mesh Knit Pant in brown compliments any shade of pink. The relaxed waistband and drawcord along with the polyester/cotton blend fabric make this product very comfortable to wear. The flattering straight-leg cut will help balance a fitted shirt. To stay warm, Sanmar also offers a matching zip-up jacket.
Another trend to keep an eye out for, according to Suede, is prints. We discovered the Poly Pro Drawcord tote from Vitronic Promotional (asi/93990). It’s constructed from a continuously printed bolt of fabric making each Drawcord unique from the next.
From Vitronic Promotional Group (asi/93990), this colorful Drawcord tote (A432) in “Blue Floral,” will brighten up any day.
From SanMar (asi/84863), these Port Authority Ladies Silk Touch Mesh Knit Pants (L505P) feature a straight-leg cut in a warm chocolate brown color.
“Fabrics and colors and prints drive our product development effort— so much that it's the theme of our 2009 catalog and the focus of our much-expanded Poly Pro line of totes,” says JoAnne Riley Beckman, director of marketing and product development at Vitronic Promotional. “For 2009, you'll discover the power of prints throughout our seven product categories. The patterned line of totes fashioned from economical, lightweight polypropylene comes in cheerful stripes, florals and a geometric print.”
Retro prints will also be hip in 2009. Insport (asi/43851) carries a Women’s Dri-Tec headband made from quick-drying and moisture-wicking stretch polyester fabric. The “flutterby” print will be perfect for keeping your New Year’s resolution in style.
From Carefree Casuals (asi/43851), this women’s Dri-Tec headband (FX190) by Insport in “flutterby” has a retro ‘50s pattern.
Bravo TV’s Project Runway has brought some extraordinary designers into the public eye, and one of the most fascinating is the man known for speaking in the third person – Suede. Making it into the top five, Suede created some gorgeous pieces on the show, including his winning, fashion-forward dress that actress Natalie Portman gushed over during the eco-challenge. Julie Cajigas, a Cleveland-based freelance writer, caught up with Suede and picked his brain to find out what “Suede Says” about hot fashions for 2009.
Julie Cajigas: Suede, what do you see being the hottest colors in fashion in 2009? Any predictions on colors or prints that will be splashing onto the runway?
Suede: Well with the economic market in the state it’s in and still being at war, people are optimistic for change. Color is going to play a huge role in fashion. Dreamy, light hearted, and vibrancy will all play a role in color and styling starting with Spring/Summer 2009 and flowing into Fall/Winter 2009.
Expect whimsical color combinations. Pinks, yellows, blues, purples paired with classical grays, taupes, browns, whites and blacks – all dreamy and supple in nature. Patterns will include watercolors, intricate wallpaper prints, exaggerated florals and retro prints all displaying great color combinations. Make sure to wear some items that invoke this feeling and you will be well on your way to making your own runway splash for 2009.
JC: What accessories will be larger than life in 2009?
S: Unique ornate necklaces, sexy bangles, strappy sandals and ballet slippers, as well as supple handbags with unique closures will all be predominant for Spring 2009.
JC: Belts – we saw them everywhere this year – are they in or out for 2009?
S: While we are still in a trend of oversized tops, belts are going to continue in their importance. We are starting to see fitted jackets, cropped jackets and boleros gaining in importance, but belts are going to stay around a little bit longer as great accessories for those flowing tops over skinny bottoms.
JC: Cuts and contours – are the bell-bottoms making another comeback? OK, just kidding, but seriously – what will be hot in cut and contour in 2009?
S: You’re not far off as fashion is often cyclical, but I see wide-leg flowing pants making a bigger comeback than the bell-bottoms. Ankle-length slim cigarette trans-seasonal trousers are another silhouette to watch for. Pair these with a great strappy sandal for Spring ‘09 and you will be smoldering hot.
JC: What fashion trends do you see us moving away from in 2009? What is on the way out?
S: A move to more body-conscious styling will be part of 2009, so oversized jackets will fall to the wayside. Voluminous tops will still be strong, but they will be more body conscious and paired with great sexy shiny belts. Pair the tops with a slim cigarette trans-seasonal ankle-length trouser and a fitted coat. Yummm, that’s a hot look that Suede really loves.
JC: You really excelled in the eco-challenge with your beautiful gold and red dress – do you see eco-friendly being a fashion focus in 2009?
S: As the world becomes more aware of the perils our environment is going through, it will be essential to move into eco-friendly as a way of life, not just a fad. I definitely see eco-friendly everything becoming a permanent part of fashion. This is a cause we cannot afford to ignore.
JC: Any other predictions for the fashion world in 2009?
S: New collections and freshness will be key to retail in 2009. For so long we have been in a rut that has not explored color, silhouette and fun. I mean, come on, fashion is meant to be fun. Explore – live a little.
JC: How about a Suede prediction – where will we see your fashions popping up in 2009?
S: I have been so blessed being given the opportunity to be on Project Runway, winning the Bluefly.com challenge, and showing at Bryant Park. So many doors have opened for me. The best way to keep updated with all things Suede is to check my Web site, www.SUEDEsays.com. I will be keeping everyone in the loop where they can get my products and when I may be in your hometown for a visit.
JC: OK, one last question - is Tim Gunn the best, or what?
S: OMG Tim Gunn rocks and is the best mentor anyone could ask for. His comments are always genuine, heartfelt and very thought provoking. I can hardly wait for the chance to work with him again. I would almost re-audition just to work with Tim again.
Listen to ASI Internet Radio [asicentral.com/radio]
A team of ASI editors have launched the first ever ASI Internet Radio show. For a half-hour each Tuesday, we debate the most important topics facing the industry, as well as offer an off-beat look at the market.
If you missed any of our shows, don’t worry. Recordings are available at asicentral.com/radio. And, don’t forget to join us every Tuesday morning 10:30 a.m. Eastern time when we broadcast our radio show live. We’ll be taking calls from the audience, so please call us at (215) 953-4979 to hear your voice on the air.
Sell To: This Dry-Excel Elite Etched Jacquard polyester knit shirt makes the perfect gift for the athletic employee. Whether it’s basketball, football, tennis or any other recreational event, the recipient of this shirt can play the game comfortably while looking stylish.
Style Tip: Features a bi-color design with breathable micromesh blocking along heat zones, matching self collar, zip neck styling, raglan sleeves, split side welts and tagless labeling for added comfort.
[ NEWS BRIEFS ]
Bodek and Rhodes (asi/40788)announced the addition of six new brands of apparel and accessories for its 2009 lineup. In addition to Adidas Golf, Cubavera, Badger and Gemline, it will offer styles from men’s brand Canvas and a line of scrubs from Bill Blass Healthcare.
Gildan Activewear Inc. announced its financial results for its fourth fiscal quarter and fiscal year ended October 5, 2008. It reported net earnings of $21.4 million, compared to net earnings of $40.9 million during the fourth quarter of fiscal last year.
Heritage Sportswear Inc. (asi/60582) announced the addition of seven new lines to its 2009 catalog. Calvin Klein, Gemline, Van Heusen, IZOD, Majestic, Rawlings and Reebok will all be represented when the 2009 catalog mails in December.
iPROMOTOEu (asi/232119)announced 15 promotional products distributors affiliated with the company in November 2008, representing more than $4 million in annual sales volume.
Screen USA announced that longtime Regional Sales Manager Leo Wiltgen has been promoted to the position of Sales Specialist for print-on-demand solutions.
ASICentral Poll Results
The latest poll results are in, and the forecast calls for … pain. More than two-thirds of all ASICentral.com respondents don't believe that industry revenues will turn positive until at least the second half of 2009, with nearly half of those voters believing it won't be until 2010.
But not everyone's so pessimistic -- there were several votes that the economy would turnaround quickly. For a complete breakdown of the voting, click here.
And for the newest poll – don't worry, this one's fun and cheery – go to ASICentral.com and vote for your favorite holiday song.
Got questions, comments or any type of feedback regarding this feature or anything on ASICentral? Don't hesitate to contact us at email@example.com.
[ ASK AN EXPERT ]
Question: I need your expertise again. I have a customer that is desperate to find flat, large billed caps. He didn't specify the fabric or fastener, just particular about the bill. Can you please help me - I have searched everywhere I can think of. Thank you.
Answer: I love when people are specific! So please, tell your customer to be specific! With a little hard work, I found some flat billed caps you might want to have a look at. Check out product 1501 which is a 100% wool premium cap from Magic Hardware (asi/68463); (800) 869-6777; www.magicheadwear.com. If that doesn’t work look at product 45507 from RCC Koozie/Norwood (asi/80330); (800) 937-0320; www.norwood.com. It’s a great hat made of 100% acrylic with a nice, flat bill.
Selling Tip: Caps could be the easiest gift to distribute year-round. But giving employees and clients a cap with your company’s logo on it during baseball season is ideal.
Question: I have been searching for a distributor/wholesaler that has vests for working dogs -- some come in reflective material. Any info you can provide will be greatly appreciated!
Answer: Dog apparel is a very popular trend these days, so I’m happy to see you’re so up to date with the fashion world! For a comfortable, durable dog vest, try American Apparel (asi/35297); (213) 488-0226; www.americanapparel.net/wholesaleresources. Look for product 5978 which is made with California fleece and comes in colors like powder pink, navy, and heather grey. While it doesn’t come in reflective material, I’m sure you can customize it yourself!
Selling Tip: Gifting employees with dog apparel during holidays will not only show signs of appreciation to them, also to their pets they care dearly about. Animal lovers are constantly looking for different ways to show off their pet.
[ WEARABLES TERMS ]
Woven fabrics use different sequences of warp and weft interlacing patterns to create the fabric type. Here are some of the popular kinds of woven fabrics offered today:
Twill: a sequence of weaving that results in diagonal patterns across the surface of the fabric. Most twills have a 45 degree angle. Classic twills are right-handed twills.
Denim: a left-handed twill construction characterized by indigo-blue colored warp yarns and white or grey colored weft yarns.
Oxford: woven from a small basketweave pattern of repeats that uses a bulky 2-ply yarn in the weft. Most oxford is yarn-dyed, which means the warp is generally white yarn and the weft yarns are dyed a different color. More inexpensive oxford can be made as fabric dye, instead of yarn dyed. In order to get the two-tone appearance of oxford, blended yarns are used for a cross-dye effect (cotton and polyester do not dye the same - the cotton picks up the dye, but the polyester does not.)